I thought I would step away from traditional blues this week and take a look back at the often forgotten Urban Blues. Urban Blues was formed by merging blues and jazz together often with a splash of rock-n-roll. This gave urban blues an upbeat, catchy sound.
Louis Jordan is one of my favorite early urban blues musicians. He has performed many classic songs such as Is You Is or Is You Aint My baby, Aint Nobody Here but us and Saturday Night Fish Fry. He is best known for his song Keep a Knockin But You Can’t Come In.
Louis Jordan was born in 1908 and had lived a full life until he passed away in 1975. He recorded music in a time when many hardworking Americans had come to face to face with struggles that most thought would never arrive. This help him to gain popularity with his upbeat hits that took away some of the heartache and pain that so many people suffered through each day.
He gained his greatest success during World War Two and had become popular with the Armed Forces, recording through the Armed Forces Radio Service. He was the man that many brave soldiers listened to when they needed a smile, to break up the pain of their grueling days. His success during the war also gave him the opportunity to give a cameo in war based Hollywood films. I like to think that his music inspired future generations and that when we here upbeat songs today a piece of Louis Jordan is in the notes.